ExLink - 03/10/18 - RSLvsLAFC

Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles Football Club | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles Football Club
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 2
Rio Tinto Stadium - Sandy
3:30 pm ET – March 10, 2018
WATCH: Univision, MLS LIVE (In Canada)

LAFC look to build on a historic start after becoming the second MLS expansion team to win their opener on the road with a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC. The first? The Chicago Fire in 1998, also coached by Bob Bradley

Real Salt Lake, though, are planning on spoiling the party in their home opener after drawing FC Dallas, 1-1, at Toyota Stadium thanks to a classic Nick Rimando performance to kick off the 2018 season.

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake were oh-so-close to an impressive season-opening win with Joao Plata scoring in the first half and Rimando thwarting FC Dallas time and again. But an own goal by Marcelo Silva spoiled the night as RSL had to share the points Saturday in Frisco, Texas.

Following a cruel ending to a game RSL could have put away, coach Mike Petke has a one-game sample size to prepare an LAFC team that impressed him Sunday in Seattle.

“Everyone was talking about Seattle’s lineup, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Petke told reporters after training this week. “To go into Seattle and get a result is pretty difficult to do. They’re a dangerous team … I don’t think [Bob Bradley] is going to sit back, they’re going to come in here and try to get after us.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: D - Adam Henley (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando — Shawn Barry, Marcelo Silva, Justin Glad, Demar Phillips — Kyle Beckerman, Damir Kreilach — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Luis Silva

  • Notes: Albert Rusnak had 14 assists a year ago, tied for fourth-most in MLS in 2017. He assisted on Plata’s goal last week.


A lot of history was made Sunday at CenturyLink Field as LAFC defeated Seattle, 1-0, to become the first expansion team since the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2011 to win their first MLS contest. Diego Rossi is the answer to the trivia question of who scored the first goal in club history, matching Fredy Montero for the fastest goal scored by an expansion side when the Colombian scored after 11 minutes in a 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in 2009.

It was an important win because it not only opened eyes around the league, but it also was the first taste of how dangerous LAFC can be in attack with Rossi and Carlos Vela already combining well. But the question now is what can they do for an encore?

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Luis Lopez (right tibial stress fracture); QUESTIONABLE: M - Calum Mallace (right MCL sprain)

Projected Starting XI

(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Steven Beitashour, Dejan Jakovic, Laurent Ciman, Joao Moutinho — Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye — Latif Blessing, Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi — Marcos Ureña

  • Notes: Bob Bradley has had his share of success in MLS, but not against Real Salt Lake. He’s won just 25 percent of his games against the Claret and Cobalt, his lowest against any MLS opponent (minimum two games)

All-Time Series

  • This is the first-ever meeting between Real Salt Lake and LAFC.


Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Apolinar Mariscal
4th Official: Drew Fischer
VAR: Juan Guzman Jr.

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